2014 LSSS Legislative Summit Agenda

2014 LSSS Legislative Summit Agenda


Minneapolis Convention CenterJoin your colleagues from around the states at the 2014 NCSL Legislative Summit in Minneapolis, Aug. 19-22. With more than 100 sessions, the Summit covers the latest issues and provides opportunities to make new connections with your counterparts in other states. For 40 years, the Legislative Summit is where legislators and staff have come together to tackle critical problems and find solutions that work.

Legal Services Staff Section sessions include:



Visit the 2014 Legislative Summit page for full meeting details, registration and hotel information.


 Tuesday, Aug. 19
Time Legal Services Sessions

3-4 p.m.

Drafting Durable Constitutional Amendments - Part II

Drafting constitutional amendments requires a different mindset from statutory drafting. Learn about drafting differences and some legal issues that arise with drafting constitutional amendments—and tips for avoiding the pitfalls.

  • Moderator:
  • Scott Harrison, Nebraska Legislature, Nebraska
  • Speaker:
  • Richard Johnson, Iowa General Assembly
  • Steve Miller, Wisconsin Legislature
4-5 p.m.

Ensuring the Authenticity of Online Legal Information

joint with NALIT

The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) has been enacted in eight states, with others considering legislation. UELMA, which applies to state constitutions, statutes, session laws and administrative rules, sets forth specific requirements of authentication, preservation and access that must be met. Learn about UELMA and technological approaches used in two states to satisfy the authentication requirement.
  • Moderator:
  • Gary Wieman, Nebraska Legislature
  • Panelist:
  • Tim Orr, Minnesota Legislature
  • Mendora Servin, California Legislature
  • Michele Timmons, Minnesota Legislature
4-5 p.m.

The Voting Rights Act Evolves in the post-Shelby County v. Holder World

joint with the NCSL Task Force On Redistricting & Elections

Wednesday, Aug. 20
7:45-8:45 a.m.

Protecting the Legislature as an Institution

Part of legislative legal staff’s responsibility is to protect the legislature from intrusion by the executive or the judiciary, as well as helping legislators to avoid giving up legislative power, intentionally or unintentionally. What can or should legislative attorneys do to protect the institution while recognizing the political realities? Is separation of powers, particularly as delineated in state constitutions, at risk when the legislature gives the executive more power because it trusts the “current” administration?


Speaker: Raul Burciaga, New Mexico Legislature

10:30 a.m.-Noon

Supreme Court Roundup

joint with NCSL Law & Criminal Justice Committee

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent term included decisions in several cases with implications for states and states' rights. Affirmative action, campaign finance and the Fourth Amendment were all before the Court this term. Hear an overview of the court's review and opinions handed down in these cases.
  • Moderator:
  • Representative Thomas U. Reynolds, Mississippi
  • Panelist:
  • Heidi Kitrosser, University of Minnesota Law School
  • Lisa Soronen, State & Local Legal Center, Washington, D.C.
6:30 p.m.

LSSS Networking Dinner

Join legal services friends and colleagues from across the nation for dinner and lively discussion at a local restaurant. Spouses and guests are welcome. Advance reservations are required. RSVP to Kae Warnock.
Thursday, Aug. 21
2:15-3:30 p.m.

Voter Verification, the Courts and the Future

joint with the NCSL Task Force On Redistricting & Elections

Courts have ruled on the legality of voter verification requirements. Discuss their findings, whether technology can speed up the review of signatures and driver's licenses, what impact REAL ID has on voting, if QR, holographic or bar codes help, and when biometrics such as finger prints or iris imprints, will be the norm.

3:45-4:45 p.m.

The Ethical Challenges of Dark Money

The term "dark money" is increasingly used to describe campaign funds that come from unknown sources. States have attempted to crystallize ethical values of transparency and openness into law through disclosure and reporting requirements. With recent campaign finance rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, what options exist for states to retain and strengthen disclosure laws? What are the ethical challenges presented by dark money? What impact do independent expenditures have on the outcome of state elections? Explore attempts to regulate dark money, and consider the legal limits of disclosure.
  • Panelist:
  • Allen Dickerson, Center For Competitive Politics, Virginia
  • Gary Goldsmith, Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board, Minnesota
  • Larry Noble, Campaign Legal Center, Washington, D.C.
4:45-5:30 p.m.

Legal Services Staff Section Business Meeting

LSSS members present awards and elect officers at their annual business meeting.

  • Presiding:
  • Jon Heining, Texas Legislature
Friday, Aug. 22
9-10:15 a.m.

Power of the Purse

joint with NLPES and NALFO

Appropriating funds is a fundamental legislative power, but administering funding policy is a fundamental executive power. Balancing control of the purse strings was a major issue in the American Revolution, and remains unresolved to this day. Learn about issues arising from recent legislative and executive disputes over appropriations.
  • Panelist:
  • Jonathan Ball, Utah Legislature
  • Jan Yamane, Hawaii Legislature
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